Should You Hire an Admissions Consultant? [Ep. 23]

admissions podcast May 13, 2020

Applying to top graduate and business schools is a competitive affair, with qualified applicants from around the world vying for just a handful of spots each year. The difference between getting accepted and not comes down to your ability to highlight your personal, academic, and professional assets in a way that sets you apart from the pack. While some candidates choose to do that on their own, many turn to admissions consultants for help.

Is working with an admissions consultant right for you?

That's what we explore in Episode 23 of The Dominate Test Prep Podcast with the help of Barbara Coward, founder of MBA 360° Admissions Consulting. Barbara worked as an application reader at Johns Hopkins University before starting her consulting practice, so she has experience in the industry from both side.

You can listen to our full conversation here:

 

Specifically, Barbara and I discuss:

  • One of the biggest mistakes candidates make on their applications that...
Continue Reading...

MBA Admissions: Myth vs. Reality [Ep. 20]

admissions podcast Apr 08, 2020

The best way to learn what business school admissions officers are looking for is to ask them!

So that's exactly what we did.

In this episode of The Dominate Test Prep Podcast, we sat down with Lauren Sutherland, Associate Director of Admissions at the Duke Fuqua School of Business, and discussed a wide range of admissions-related questions including:

  • What differentiates Duke Fuqua from some of the other top business schools
  • How a school's ranking should factor in to your decision of which school(s) to apply to and other considerations you should weigh as well
  • The value of Duke's "25 Random Things" essay for enabling you to showcase what makes you a unique and desirable candidate
  • What makes someone stand out during the application process -- and dealbreakers to avoid!
  • The benefits of the 2-year, full-time MBA as compared to online, part-time, or executive programs
  • How to maximize your business school experience once you're on campus

You can listen to our full conversation...

Continue Reading...

"I've Been Waitlisted! Now What?" [Ep. 18]

admissions podcast Mar 11, 2020

Being put on the waitlist at your dream school isn't ideal.

You were hoping to be accepted outright, after all.

But it's not a death knell, either.

Plenty of people are accepted off the waitlist each year, and there's no reason you can't be one of them. In fact, there are a lot of practical, actionable things you can do to increase your chances of getting off the waitlist in a favorable way -- and Hillary Schubach of Shine MBA Admissions Consulting is here to break them down for you.

Listen to our conversation on The Dominate Test Prep Podcast:

 

In this episode we discuss:

  • How to think about the waitlist, and what it means from the admissions committee's perspective
  • Whether you're more/less likely to be waitlisted if you apply Round 1 vs. later rounds
  • What to do in the week immediately after finding out that you've been waitlisted
  • The #1 thing you should emphasize in your first correspondence with the school(s)
  • When and how often to communicate with the admissions...
Continue Reading...

Is Harvard Really Worth It? [Ep. 16]

admissions podcast Feb 12, 2020

A lot of people believe that if they can't get in to a top-tier college or graduate school, it's not worth going.

Yet, there are a lot of considerations that play into your decision to go back to school, and the prestige of the program is only one factor in choosing the school that's right for you.

In this episode of The Dominate Test Prep Podcast we catch up with Harvard Kennedy School of Government alumnus Jake Taylor who recounts his journey from working on Wall Street to teaching middle school math in Spanish Harlem to ultimately going back to graduate school at Harvard -- and he answers the question of whether it was worth paying full sticker price at Harvard vs. going to a less-prestigious school where he would have received scholarship money.

Take a listen to our conversation:

 



We discuss a number of important topics that can help inform your own decision about if/where to go to school, including:

  • When did Jake realized that working on...
Continue Reading...

5-Part Framework for a Successful Grad School Application [Ep. 3]

admissions gmat gre podcast Sep 25, 2019

Your standardized test (GMAT / GRE) is only part of the admissions criteria when applying to graduate or business school.

But what about the rest of your application?

To help you learn how to maximize all parts of your grad school application, we invited expert admissions consultant Linda Abraham, founder and CEO of Accepted, to The Dominate Test Prep Podcast to share her 5-part framework for a successful MBA / grad school application. She breaks down each of the five key components and explains exactly what you need to do in your application to showcase yourself in such a way that schools will want to admit you.

Listen to the episode here:

 

Be sure to listen all the way to the end, as the second half of the episode includes Linda's answers from a live Q&A where she goes even deeper into best-practices for crafting a winning application. These are common questions that you may have yourself, such as:

  • If you’re filling out a general...
Continue Reading...

You’re Doing It Wrong: The 3 Biggest Mistakes You’re Probably Making in Your Application Essays

By: Michael Noltemeyer, North Star Editing

Writing an application is like being trapped in a choose-your-own-adventure story that someone else is reading: your fate lies in the hands of your audience.

Problem is, most applicants don’t understand what their audience wants.

I don’t make that claim lightly. Over the last ten years, I’ve read literally thousands of personal statements and statements of purpose and everything in between.

That’s why I’m confident when I say you’re probably making at least one of these three mistakes I see on almost every essay that comes my way.

1. Thinking Your Essays Don’t Matter

Consider these figures from 2017:

Competition for Ivy League spots is so fierce that Harvard, Yale, and Stanford could each rescind their offers of admission to every student they have already accepted, choose another freshman class of the same size, and suffer no statistical drop-off.

In fact, they could probably do that...

Continue Reading...

Tips for 3 Common MBA Interview Questions

admissions mba Feb 27, 2019

Interview season is here for Round 2 MBA applicants, and we thought you'd benefit from these helpful tips from Stacy Blackman of Stacy Blackman Consulting about how to answer three of the most common interview questions you're likely to encounter.

1. Tell me about yourself.

Our first piece of advice: don’t go on and on. It’s easy to do when you’ve been asked such an open-ended question, so make sure you practice your response out loud a few times. There’s no need to recite your life story — talking about where you were born, your family, or your childhood is not what they’re looking for here.

We recommend approaching this question as if they’d asked you to walk them through your resume: quickly summarize the highlights of your college years and then move on to your professional career. Explain why you took the roles you did, what your main responsibilities were, and what you enjoyed or took away from each position. If you’ve...

Continue Reading...